Traveling in Nigeria involves a lot of planning especially if it is by road. Desola was unfortunately still on her europe tourwhile Tolu had to come back for her cousin’s wedding in Abuja.
The plan to visit Yankari game reserve in Bauchi just days to the presidential election was questioned by a lot of people (being a Nigerian, you know election periods are not exactly the safest). But since a major part of the trip had been covered by flight to Abuja, Tolu felt, why not make it down to Bauchi (which was supposedly 5-6 hours away).
Wedding done, we went to Jabi park to board a car going to Bauchi which cost N3,000 per person. We took off from the park at 9:45am, meanwhile, I already did my research on how long the journey would be so my 5-6 hours timer already started.
Our driver was going very fast by my own standard but it seemed like everyone else in the car was okay by it so I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. We passed through nasarrawa – kaduna – Jos – Bauchi, I hadn’t been to all these states before so, it was super exciting just commuting through them.
The wind in Jos, Plateau state slapped different and I thought I was going to come down with a nose bleed but that didn’t happen (thankfully).
The highlands in Jos
The journey was majorly uneventful until about 15 minutes into Bauchi state when we came across some party supporters who were walking around with different tools. Mostly chanting in Hausa but we knew the tone wasn’t exactly friendly.
This was when it dawned on me that I should probably not have traveled to the northern part of Nigeria when the elections were so close (my Liver was beginning to fail me at this point). We were stuck in a place for about 40 minutes, at some point, we thought they were going to vandalize our vehicle but the driver was smart enough to paste a party’s poster on his vehicle and sped off (wheeeeew, close shave).
6 hours later, we still weren’t in yankari. At 5.30pm, we got to the turning that led to the reserve. Our driver had to put us on another cab to take us directly to the reserve entrance since he was headed to Gombe. This took another 1 hour and cost N750.
Our minds were finally at rest when we saw the yankari front gate. There were some military men stationed at the entrance and this put our minds at rest considerably.
sunset in yankari
We bought our entry tickets hurriedly because, frankly, we were tired and just wanted to rest.
Student (id required) – N800
Adult – N2,000
Not too long after, we were hit with another shocker ! (Unbelievable).
The distance from the front gate to the reception was 42km which took us over 30 minutes. We had to hire a cab at the entrance to drive us in for about N3000.
All the articles I read didn’t warn us about the extra trips and a journey that was supposedly for 6 hours ended up being for 8 hours 30 minutes.
On the journey from the main entrance to the reception, the driver had to be on the look out for animals wandering. We came across a deer and a monkey. Barely paid attention to the night ride as we were mostly tired.
At the reception, we were given a list with the choice of rooms we wanted. We chose the studio suite and headed right there to have a goodnight sleep.
Loved how the roof looked
The next day was filled with adventures. First was taking in our environment since we got in so late the previous day and boy, it was a sight. The animals were roaming around freely.
Home for 2 days
Tolu of Travel & Delicacy
Each chalet was nicely spaced. The power only came on from 7pm-7am everyday and we were quite disappointed that the reserve’s WiFi was not functioning. We were told only MTN had internet service and it was with a struggle 2G.
We headed to the reserve restaurant and we made plans for breakfast. They were extremely slow with their service but this was fine by us since we were busy preparing for the day’s activities.
Watch out for our exploration of the wildlife safari, the spring that maintains a constant temperature all year and our trip to the Bauchi palace.
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